By all accounts, it has not been a big sales summer for moving companies. We hear things like:
- Worst May ever (in over 15 years).
- Sharp drop-off in the middle of July.
You probably have your version too, if saw a slowdown. We haven’t heard from anyone jumping up and down. If you’re out there, please leave a comment below.
So let’s unpack this:
ARE YOU DOING SOMETHING WRONG?
No, not really. We are coming off two years that were unpredictable and unusual. Demand was very strong, and the PPP lined most everyone’s pockets.
THE PANDEMIC IS OVER
As offices closed and millions of workers found freedom to work from home, they took full advantage of the situation and often moved to a new home using a moving company. Demand was unprecedented.
COMPARE 2022 SALES TO YOUR 2019 SALES
This will give you a much more accurate picture of just how much worse your sales are this year…if they are worse at all. Using sales figures from 2020 and 2021 is not relevant.
DID YOU GET BUSINESS YOU DIDN’T DESERVE?
Now we say this “tongue in cheek” but many moving companies that were not accustomed to getting forms filled out on their websites asking for an estimate, or a phone call seeking the same advice got plenty of action. The “gold rush” of business swamped the moving companies on pages 1 and 2 for sure, and often 3, so you may have received traffic even though your site was not ranking high on Google. Congratulations and enjoy it, but it probably didn’t last.
MARKETING SAVVY v. MARKETING AGNOSTIC
There are estimated to be 20,000 to 30,000 moving leads sold per day in this country. Historically, moving companies could survive by buying leads…tantamount to outsourcing their sales department. We keep hearing from caller after caller that buying leads is not working anymore. The conversion rate is down to 3% or less. Lots of money is wasted on false security.
“MARKETING” IS NOT A BUTTON YOU PUSH
When you begin SEO Marketing you are beginning to start a sales lead pipeline. It takes a while…4 to 12 months. So what’s the alternative? Well, you could hire 2-5 salespeople and somehow turn them loose to try to find those prospects out there looking to move. What percentage of the total population would that be? Less than a half of 1% that is for sure. That makes this expensive, and really requires a well-developed website that is SEO optimized anyway.
MOVING COMPANY “COMPARISON LADDER”
Let’s pretend there are just a dozen moving companies in your market. Where is your moving company on the ladder? A good way to see if you have much Brand awareness at all is to look at your search results on your Google My Business Profile. It’s the green part of the circle. Those searchers typed in your company name. That’s awareness. It’s not easy to get but once you get it your leads will grow and grow and grow in number.
IF YOU HAVE A BRAND YOUR SALES DECLINE WILL NOT BE AS GREAT
That’s because Brands that are known have top-of-mind awareness. Their sales can suffer, but statistically not as much as movers with no brand…no awareness.
SEO TO BUILD A BRAND IS AN INVESTMENT
A sales increase is not going to happen immediately because you are growing your brand “organically” and not buying a search result on Page One of Google by advertising on Google Ads. Google Ads guarantee Page One placement for a price, but getting your ad clicked on doesn’t mean a prospect will fill out a form for a free estimate. You have to engage with the prospect through E-A-T.
WHAT IS E-A-T AND WHY SHOULD I CARE?
Google has prepared and published a Quality Raters Guide. It’s 170 pages long and you can view it online. Bottom Line: Google wants a site that exudes E-A-T…Expertise…Authoritativeness…Trustworthiness. That’s why how your site is written is so critical.
SUMMARIZE AND CONCLUDE:
- It’s been a slow summer for sales compared to the last couple of years.
- There’s a reason for that.
- Compare 2022 sales to those of 2019.
- As someone attributed to Warren Buffett: “A rising tide lifts all ships.”
- Most movers got a lift that they probably didn’t earn.
- Now the high demand for moves is over…partly due to the leveling out of the Pandemic and partly due to the lack of home inventory in most markets.
- If you went into the Pandemic with a Brand and were well-positioned, you are most likely not suffering.
- If you had no Brand, and still have no Brand, consider what we’ve outlined and take action. It will pay off in spades in the long run.
- Sales is Marketing. It can’t be outsourced to a faceless moving lead aggregator anymore. Those days are over. Too many of your competitors have gotten too smart in their marketing and as famous ad man, David Ogilvy, once said… ”the prospect isn’t an idiot…she’s your wife”.